Investing in Long-Term Impact: The Power of a Monthly Giving Program

The Keela Team • Apr 26, 2023
Monthly Giving Program blog header showing a calendar with a date selected.

Are you looking for ways to increase the stability and sustainability of your nonprofit’s funding? One effective strategy is to implement a monthly giving program. Monthly giving programs provide donors with the opportunity to become monthly donors and make recurring donations on a monthly basis. Typically these monthly charity donations are smaller in value, but add up over the course of the year. By encouraging donors to sign up for monthly giving, nonprofits can increase their donor retention rates, improve cash flow, and build stronger relationships with their supporters.

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of monthly giving programs for nonprofits, and provide tips on how to implement and promote a successful monthly program yourself.

Benefits of Monthly Giving Programs for Nonprofits

Monthly giving programs offer numerous benefits for nonprofits, from providing a steady source of income to helping build stronger relationships with donors. Let’s dive deeper into the specific benefits of monthly giving programs for nonprofits, and explain how they can help you take your fundraising efforts to the next level.

Predictable and Reliable Income

Monthly giving programs provide a predictable and reliable source of income for nonprofits. With recurring donations, you can better plan and budget for your organization’s programs and initiatives. This steady stream of income allows you to focus on your mission and long-term goals.

Increased Donor Retention

Monthly donors tend to have higher retention rates compared to one-time donors. In fact, recurring donors have an average donor retention rate of 90% (which is significantly higher than the 27% donor retention rate for one-time donors).

They are more likely to stick with your organization, providing you with sustained support over time. This translates to higher lifetime value for your organization and helps to build a stronger relationship between you and your donors.

Cost-Effective Fundraising

Monthly giving programs are cost-effective because it eliminates the need for repeated solicitation efforts. New donor acquisition can cost 50-100% more than donor retention, so you’ll save money on fundraising materials, staff time, and other expenses associated with ongoing donor outreach. This frees up resources that can be redirected toward other critical programs and initiatives.

Improved Donor Engagement

Monthly giving programs offer a unique opportunity for donors to connect more deeply with your organization. By offering exclusive benefits, such as newsletters or other insider content, you can provide your monthly donors with a sense of belonging and pride in supporting your organization.

Higher Giving Potential

Monthly donors tend to give more over time than one-time donors. This is because they have a longer-term commitment to your organization and are more likely to increase their giving over time. The average one-time gift amount is $127, whereas the average monthly recurring donation is $31, which would add up to $372 within a year, so by encouraging monthly giving, you can increase the overall giving potential of your donor base and achieve greater impact in your community.

How Monthly Giving Programs Can Boost Donor Engagement

As mentioned, monthly giving programs can be a great way to boost donor engagement. Here are a few examples of how you can use monthly giving to connect with existing donors and increase their engagement:

Regular Communication

When donors sign up for monthly giving programs, they’re making a commitment to support your organization over time. Use this opportunity to keep them informed about the impact of their giving. Regular communication, such as newsletters, impact reports, and personal thank-you notes, can help donors feel connected to your work and more engaged with your organization.

The cover page of the "Thank You Guide for Nonprofits"

Turn your donors into lifelong supporters with personalized thank-you letters!

Proper stewardship practices such as expressing gratitude to your donors can help increase donor engagement. We have created customizable templates to help get you started!

Special Recognition

Show your appreciation for your monthly donors by giving them special recognition. For example, you might feature their names on your website or in your annual report, or invite them to exclusive events or volunteer opportunities. This can make donors feel valued and appreciated and can increase their loyalty to your organization.

Customizable Giving Options

Customizable giving options offer donors the flexibility to customize their giving amounts and frequencies. This can help them feel more in control of their giving and can create a more personalized giving experience. For example, some donors might prefer to give a larger amount every quarter, while others might prefer to give a smaller amount each month.

Social Media Campaigns

Use social media to engage with your monthly donors and encourage others to join your program. Share stories of impact, host Q&A sessions, and feature current and prospective monthly donors in your posts. This can create a sense of community among your supporters and can increase their engagement with your organization.

Benefits of Monthly Giving Programs for Donors

Monthly giving programs can offer a wealth of benefits for donors looking to make a lasting impact on their favorite nonprofit organizations. Some of the benefits for donors include:

Convenient and Easy Giving

Monthly giving allows donors to set up recurring donations, making giving more convenient and hassle-free. This can help donors stay committed to their giving goals without having to remember to write a check or click a button every time.

Larger Impact Over Time

By committing to give a certain amount every month, donors can make a larger impact over time than they might with a one-time donation. This provides reliable funding for your organization and helps you plan your programs and services more effectively.

Budget-Friendly Giving

Monthly giving programs allow donors to make a monthly charity donation in the amount that works for their budget. This means they can give what they’re comfortable with each month, without feeling financially strained.

Deeper Connection With Your Organization

Your organization can provide regular updates to donors about your programs, events, and impact. This can help donors feel more connected to your mission and engaged with your work.

Access to Special Benefits

Offering special benefits, such as exclusive event invitations, recognition in publications, and other perks, can make donors feel appreciated and valued for their support. This can increase their loyalty to your organization and encourage them to continue giving.

By highlighting these benefits, your organization can show potential monthly donors how easy and rewarding it can be to support your mission on a regular basis. This can help you build a base of committed supporters who are dedicated to making a meaningful impact over time.

How To Start a Monthly Giving Program at Your Nonprofit

If you’re looking to set up a monthly giving program and/or run a monthly giving campaign at your organization for the first time, here are a few tips to help you get started:

Tips for Setting Up a Monthly Giving Program

Identify Your Target Audience

Before launching your organization’s monthly donor program, identify the supporters who are most likely to sign up. Consider past donors, volunteers, and those who have shown a strong interest in your organization’s mission. The great thing about monthly giving programs is that they’re accessible to all kinds of donors, regardless of their giving capacity, so make sure your audience includes both your more loyal donors and the ones that have only given to you once.

Set a Fundraising Goal

Determine how much money you hope to raise through your monthly giving program. This will help you set donation amounts and create a strategy for outreach and communication. It will also help you break down approximately how much you need to secure from each donor to reach your goal.

Choose Your Fundraising Platform

Select a user-friendly and reliable donation platform that supports recurring donations. Make sure the platform is secure, integrates with your website, and offers reporting and tracking tools.

One of the most important aspects of a fundraising platform for a successful monthly giving program is to include monthly giving prompts right on your online donation page (with the accompanying donation form). Keela’s donation pages make it easy to set up recurring giving prompts and encourage one-time donors to donate monthly.

A sample donation form with an image on one side and donation information on the other
A sample donation page created in Keela.

Set your monthly giving program up for success using Keela!

See how you can use Keela to easily set up and manage recurring donations, track your fundraising progress in real-time, and more!

Craft a Compelling Message

Develop a clear and compelling message that explains why monthly giving is important and how it supports your mission. Use images, stories, and testimonials to help donors understand the impact of their contributions.

Offer Incentives and Recognition

Consider offering special incentives and recognition to your monthly donors, such as exclusive content, early access to events, and donor recognition on your website.

Communicate Regularly with Donors

Keep your monthly donors informed about your programs, services, and impact. Provide regular updates through email newsletters, social media, and other communication channels.

Express Gratitude

Show appreciation to your monthly donors regularly and often. Send personalized thank-you notes, highlight their contributions in your communications, and offer opportunities to volunteer or engage with your organization.

Tips for Growing Your Monthly Giving Program

Does your organization already have a monthly giving program? If that program isn’t growing at the rate you would like it to, here are a few tips to help:

Optimize your Donation Page

Make it easy for donors to sign up for your nonprofit monthly giving program by optimizing your donation page. Use clear calls to action, highlight the benefits of monthly giving, and simplify the donation process as much as possible.

Donation Page Checklist cover page

Improve Your Donation Page with this FREE Checklist

This checklist covers elements of your donation pages that you need to optimize to give your nonprofit the best chance at online fundraising success.

Leverage Social Media

Use social media to promote your monthly giving program and engage with your supporters. Share stories, highlight the impact of monthly giving, and offer incentives for signing up.

Host Events

Host events that are specifically targeted towards monthly donors, such as appreciation events or behind-the-scenes tours. This can help you build stronger relationships with your monthly donors and encourage them to continue giving.

Create a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign

Encourage your current monthly donors to invite their friends and family to join your monthly giving program through a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

Offer Matching Gifts

Encourage more people to sign up for your monthly giving program by offering a matching gift opportunity. This can encourage donors to give more and make an even greater impact.

Provide Regular Updates

Keep your monthly donors informed about your programs, services, and impact. Provide regular updates through email newsletters, social media, and other communication channels..

Personalize Your Communications

Personalize your communication with monthly donors, addressing them by name and sending personalized messages of thanks and appreciation.

Highlight the Benefits

Continue to highlight the benefits of monthly giving, including exclusive content, early access to events, and donor recognition on your website.

Analyze Your Data

Regularly analyze your monthly giving data to identify trends and adjust your strategy as needed. Look at retention rates, donation amounts, and demographics to gain insights into your donor base.

How to Establish and Maintain Strong Relationships with Monthly Donors

To keep your monthly donors engaged with your organization, you need to continually remind them of the impact of their gifts and show them how much you appreciate their support. Here are five tips to help you keep your monthly donors engaged:

Keep them Informed

Send regular updates on your organization’s activities and accomplishments. This will remind them of the impact their contributions are making and help them feel like they’re part of the team.

Show Your Appreciation

Send thank-you notes, personalized messages, and even small gifts to your monthly donors. Let them know how much you value their support and how important they are to your organization’s success.

Provide Exclusive Content

Offer your monthly donors access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes videos or interviews with staff members. This will make them feel like they’re part of the inner circle and give them a sense of ownership over your organization’s work.

Create a Sense of Community

Foster a sense of community among your monthly donors by providing opportunities for them to connect with each other, such as through a private Facebook group or an online forum. This will create a space for them to share their experiences, provide feedback, and support each other’s efforts to make a difference.

Ask for Feedback

Ask your monthly donors for feedback on your organization’s activities and how you can improve your communication with them. This will show them that you value their input and are committed to continually improving your relationship with them.

Example of a Successful Monthly Giving Program

There are lots of monthly giving program examples from nonprofits around the globe. One particularly successful example is from Keela’s client HELP Auckland.

HELP Auckland has been the city’s specialized provider of sexual abuse support services since 1982. 

With as many as 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys who may be sexually assaulted before adulthood, HELP provides a culturally safe environment to support and empower women and children in their healing from the effects of sexual abuse while actively working towards its prevention.

The majority of HELP’s fundraising revenue comes from grants and peer-to-peer fundraising. However, they’re actively trying to grow their recurring donor program into a sustainable revenue stream. They decided to turn their attention to their online recurring giving options and used the recurring giving prompts on Keela’s donation forms as the main way to boost their donor retention.

This is a screenshot of HELP Auckland's recurring giving donation form
HELP Auckland’s recurring giving donation form, created in Keela.

By using a combination of online donation page features and email communications, HELP Auckland engaged their donor strategically and increased their number of recurring donors by 58%.

How Using Keela Can Help Your Monthly Giving Program

If you’re a nonprofit looking to set up or grow your monthly giving program, Keela can help you streamline the process and maximize your fundraising potential. With Keela, you can easily set up and manage recurring donations, automate communication with your monthly donors, and track your progress in real-time.

Keela’s all-in-one platform provides a range of features that make it easy to start or grow a recurring giving program including:

Donor Management

Keela’s donor management tool is an essential component for nonprofits looking to grow their recurring giving. With this tool, you can track and manage your monthly donors, segment your donor list, and automate your communication strategy.


Keela’s automation tool allows you to set up customized email workflows that trigger automatic responses based on donor behavior, such as thanking monthly donors, sending reminders to those whose donations have lapsed, or sending targeted appeals to lapsed or at-risk donors.

This automation saves time, improves the donor experience, and ultimately leads to increased donor retention and more monthly donors.

Fundraising Tools

Keela’s fundraising tools are designed to help you grow your recurring giving by providing you with powerful features to manage your campaigns and donor relationships. With Keela, you can create customized donation pages that seamlessly integrate with your website and branding, making it easy for donors to set up and manage their recurring donations.

You can also track your fundraising progress in real-time with Keela’s reporting and analytics tools, helping you identify trends and adjust your strategy for maximum impact.

Additionally, Keela provides a range of fundraising features such as peer-to-peer fundraising, event management, and donation tracking, all of which can be used to encourage recurring donations and maximize your fundraising revenue.

With Keela, you can focus on what matters most – building strong relationships with your monthly donors and making a lasting impact on your community.


In conclusion, monthly giving programs are a critical tool for nonprofit organizations to sustainably grow their impact over time. Not only do these programs provide a reliable source of funding, but they also help foster stronger relationships with donors who are committed to your organization’s mission.

By providing a steady stream of income, monthly giving programs allow nonprofits to focus on their core work, such as delivering services, rather than on constantly raising funds. However, it’s important to have the right donor management program to optimize your recurring giving program. The right software, such as Keela, can help you streamline communication, track donations, and automate administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on building stronger relationships with your donors and growing your impact. With the right tools, nonprofits can create a sustainable and effective recurring giving program that will make a difference for years to come.

Regardless of if you’re a small, medium, or large nonprofit, Keela is the key to a successful monthly giving program. If you’re interested in learning about how Keela can help your organization set up and grow a monthly giving program, set up a call with one of our fundraising experts here.

Headshot of Meredith Gray

About the author:

Meredith Gray
Head of Marketing, Keela

Meredith has always had a passion for work that makes an impact. Having spent over 7 years working in fundraising, she has gained extensive knowledge in marketing, peer-to-peer, events, and sponsorship and firmly believes that all successful fundraising strategies start with your data.

Having experienced it first-hand, she understands the challenges nonprofits face when building a fundraising strategy and loves connecting with other like-minded fundraisers to brainstorm new and creative ways to leverage data to increase revenue. When not working, Meredith can be found trying out one of Toronto’s diverse restaurants, breaking a sweat in a spin class, or researching her next travel destination.